Typing Learned Subconsciously According to Study

An upcoming study performed by researchers from Vanderbilt and Kobe universities shows that typing isn't a conscious skill. Rather, it is an unconcious ability that many humans use on a daily basis. Researchers asked 100 university students to participate in an experiment by typing for a minute and then filling in the letters on a blank QWERTY keyboard. On average, the students perfomed well at typing, turning in about 72 words a minute. On the other hand, most students couldn't identity the locations of more than 15 letters on the keyboard. 

This data showed the researchers that while students are adept at typing, they don't necessarily think about what they're doing. This falls under the category of "automatism," which describes actions that are done "without conscious thought or intention." This didn't surprise the scientists because there are many examples of this: shoe tying, bicycle riding, and driving a car.

However, what did surprise researchers were the details about this automation. Normally, it is assumed that people learn skills first and use them so often that they become rote. Nevertheless, the fact that most students had little memory of the actual QWERTY keyboard shows that typing skills can come about without any initial expertise. The researchers behind the study have hypothesized that this is because of the prevelance of keyboards in our society. They think that most students are so used to them that they learn in a trial-and-error fashion instead of an organized educational way. In fact, according to reports, 90% of Americans now own a computerized gadet, which would make it quite likely that almost all children in the U.S. have experience with a keyboard. Overall, this study is interesting, and it has implications regarding the means through which we learn. 

children with tablets.jpg

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